|AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER||July 2002|
"THE CATCHING OF THE STORM"
by Thomas Todd
Lieutenant-Colonel Hunter Rillian of the Albion Imperial could not believe his luck. Finally it seemed that he would have Storm in his hands. For five years now he had been chasing the renegade officer, one of Albion's most wanted. Major Joshua Storm had gone AWOL with a number of computer discs containing the long-term expansion plans of Albion in Ireland. Using that information Storm had rallied and organised gangs in the Outlands to resist Albion incursions. In terms of men and material the cost had been substantial. In fact the whole expansion and development plan had to be re-worked and everything was set back for years. No single individual had been such a thorn in the side of Albion for decades.
Now, however, all that was about to end. An informant had placed Storm in a small Outland village at the foot of the Donegal Mountains. Apparently he had been helping the locals break the grip of a ruthless Biker Gang. Rillian smiled at the irony of it all. It was so much like Storm to play the "good guy", always defending what he called the "innocent and oppressed". However, Storm's actions had always made him as many enemies as friends, the one advantage to Albion being that Storm's enemies were usually the powerful and ruthless whereas his friends tended to be the weak and unimportant. Againg those Storm had opposed had seen the benefits of helping Albion forces bring him in. One of those bikers had approached Albion with information.
Storm and his companions would be caught in a vice. While two tactical squads approached the village from the east, Rillain had hastily gathered one of his own Special Forces units and they were on their way by air to a drop Zone just to the west of the village. At last, mused Rillian, this would perhaps be, "The Catching of the Storm."
This scenario is set in Ireland sometime in the near future. One of the major corporations at that time is Albion Imperial, an international giant with controls and influences throughout the world. Albion has gained a considerable portion of its power by covert operations and even at times blatantly overt operations against what it terms, "legitimate targets". It is a highly militaristic corporation, combining military prowess with political maneouvering to attain its objectives.
Five years ago Albion's expansion in Ireland was severely set back by the desertion of one of its own officers, a disaffected Major Joshua Storm. Storm had always been difficult, too much a defender of those who were "expendable for the greater good of the corporation"; too compassionate to have any of the ruthlessness needed to build and expand a corporation like Albion. However, he was a great tactician, courageous and loyal to those under his command. Then he had disappeared while on a Search and Destroy mission in the Outlands, those sparsely populated areas of Irish countryside which belonged to no-one of significance. The mission was of such a nature that no-one even considered that Storm and his troops could have been killed in action, and when finally some of the troops returned to base the truth hit home. Storm and some of his own squad had gone AWOL. To make things worse it was reported that Storm had in his possession the expansion plans of Albion in Ireland. A series of military set-backs soon proved the truth of this allegation and reports began to emerge of a new leader rallying the people of the Outlands and being seen in action against Albion forces, a man calling himself Joshua Storm.
In our scenario Joshua Storm and his squad of ex-Albion troopers, have aided a local Outland village in ridding themselves of an oppressive biker gang. Now, however, Storm is under threat from encroaching Albion forces intent on his capture. The grateful locals have warned Storm of the approaching enemy. However, before he and his squad could make their escape a second Albion force was spotted blocking the escape route to the western mountains. The scene is now set for a showdown.
Several gangs of locals, reasonably trained by Storm, and fresh from their victory over the biker gang, are willing to aid Storm in his escape. They will seek to block the path of the troops approaching from the east while Storm breaks out to the west. Knowing that Albion forces will show no mercy to those who oppose them Storm has stated that he and his squad will not exit the area until all surviving members of the two gangs have themselves escaped. There are those who believe that Storm's own compassion and loyalty will be his downfall!
The forces are based on the army lists in the Battle Book. Albion Imperial are organsied on similar lines to the Dekka Miliatray Foundation of the Battle Book while the Stroms squad is regarded as a Brat gang and the other gangs follow the Ganger lists.
This scenario could be played on 1 metre by 1 metre table although 120cm by 120 cm would be preferable.
The terrain will represent a village which has been terrorised by a biker gang for some years. To the destructive nature of this biker gang one needs to add the recent heavy fighting which has seen them ousted from the area. The village will, therefore, consist of some fairly intact and some destroyed building structures.
The locals had already erected a number of barricades across the roads while fighting the bikers and these are still intact, so the table should include a few barricades.
Albion Imperial: Albion has two forces, one attacking from the east and one from the west.
Each should be positioned on the outskirts of the village - in a deployment zone no more than 15cm from the respective baselines of the table.
Ganger Forces: The gangers will deploy their forces within the central area of the table to a distance covering 20cm in both a western and eastern direction.
Albion Imperial: To achieve a major victory the Albion forces will need to take Storm alive. He has information they could make considerable use of.
To capture him alive he must be engaged in hand-to-hand combat. His opponent must declare his intention to capture Storm prior to the resolution of the combat. If Storm loses the combat he is considered captured and will subsequemtly move with his captor in base-to-base contact. The prisoner is activated with his captor.
Moving with a captive requires 2AP per 5cm or 4cm if the captor is wearing a combat suit.
If Storm has a rout reaction he will automatically be captured if engaged in hand-to-hand combat. If captured Storm can only be released if his captor is killed, engaged in hand-to-hand combat or given a rout reaction. Then Storm will be considered as being subject to a panic reaction until the end of that turn.
The captor must seek to escort Storm to the captor's starting baseline.
To achieve a minor victory the Albion forces must kill Storm and at least two members of his squad.
NOTE: Although this squad is known as Storm's squad he is not the squad leader. They are merely the troopers who had followed him when he deserted Albion.
Gangers: The gangers achieve a major victory if Storm escapes from the western side of the table with at least two members of his squad.
Special rule: Storm will seek to remain on the table long enough to allow any of the gangers in the eastern side to effect an escape. Therefore, while any of these gangers are alive Storm will remain on the table until they enter what was the deployment zone of the Albion western force or are killed. Storm's squad are loyal to him and will remain with him until he exits the board.
The gangers will achieve a minor victory if Storm escapes with less than two members of his squad.
Obviously Storm is the central figure and where he is at the end of the game will determine the outcome. The ganger forces need to allow time for Storm and his squad to clear a route to the west. Then they need to ensure that Storm and his squad are in cover near the western baseline as they will wait for the rest of the gangers to effect their escape. Once Storm and his squad have cleared the way the gangs to the east need to make a rapid exit. They do not want Storm and his squad to be under enemy fire longer than is necessary!
The Albion forces on the other hand will wish to break through the gangs to the east as quickly as possible so as to get to Storm. The Special Forces squad with Rillian are vital to keeping Storm penned in to allow the other troops to break through. Even if Storm does secure an escape route early in the game simply by pinning down a few gangers the Albion forces will be able to keep him on the table.
It should be noted that Storm will be extremely difficult to capture alive.
This scenario uses a good number of the figures that are to be found in the Combat Zone boxed game.
Obviously most of the gangers (apart from those with heavy weapons) come from the boxed Game as do most of the troopers in the tactical squads. In addition to the figures from the game the following required.
2 additional sprues of troopers (these allow you to create Rillian and the Special Forces Squad)
1 trooper heavy weapons squad (combine the weapons from here with the bodies in combat suits to get the required figure.)
2 ganger heavy weapons squads (you need 2 autocannons!) A ganger hero (Joshua Storm) - I use the em4 road hero (0078) Storm's Squad - I use the em4 metal trooper figures with berets (0429, 0430, 0431, 0433).
It will be clear from this list that one will be left with additional bodies and weapons above and beyond what is required for this scenario. However, these will prove extremely useful in building future ganger and trooper forces and so will not be wasted. I have already have plans for my own!